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We hope our Global Insurance Symposium guests also see the positive impact these concerts have on students and consider bringing these financial literacy concerts back to their states and countries.
The Des Moines Civic Center was bursting with students this morning checking their cellphones and talking with friends about what to expect from a school field trip that featured a rock concert mixed with smart financial planning insights from the band.
The band GOODING is passionate about financial literacy. Their songs aren't about stocks and bonds. They play high-energy original rock music that endears them to kids, allowing the lessons learned from the band's own financial missteps to sink in with more credibility.
"I'm a musician who made some financial mistakes when I was young, and I thought by openly sharing these mistakes, hopefully, we can make a little bit of a difference," says Gooding, the band's lead singer who goes by his last name and GOODING the band's namesake. "We stress the importance of a slow and steady savings plan to win the race. I like to debunk the hype of overnight success through showing how musicians, actors, sports stars and other celebrities made money fast and lost it just as fast."
Gooding shares that boxer Mike Tyson dwindled his savings from $300 million to zero by buying items such as Bengal tigers. Gooding asks the kids, "Did you know 80% of NFL players go broke and 6 out of 10 NBA players go bankrupt within five years of leaving their sport?" Kids take notice when they hear more people file for bankruptcy than graduate college, says Gooding.
After being entertained by cool videos, showing the band's music in film and TV commercials, and rocking out to a live music set, the students learned about the importance of saving and how compound interest works. They also learned how making wise financial decisions, such as avoiding high-interest loans from payday lenders, can help a person fulfill one's dreams.
GOODING's music has been featured in "CSI," "Stephen Colbert," "The Daily Show," "Iron Man 2," "Walk the Line" and a "Walking Dead
" trailer. Inspired by the band's work with Quincy
Jones as part of Operation HOPE, they helped create Funding the Future, a nonprofit aimed at teaching students about financial literacy and encouraging financial literacy classes to be mandatory in all states.
The Iowa Insurance Division sponsors the Iowa Financial Literacy Program through EVERFI Inc., which allows any Iowa high school to utilize this online training program at no cost. Since 2010, over 300 Iowa schools have used the Iowa Financial Literacy Program in their classrooms. More than 55,000 high school students have benefited from an online financial literacy platform that is both engaging to students and aligns with the Iowa Core essential financial literacy concepts and skills for high school students.
"EVERFI is committed to helping Iowa students understand financial literacy," says Jessica
Feimer, director of customer success at EVERFI. "Our partnership with the Iowa Insurance Division and Funding the Future
will help make this a memorable experience for students and help provide them with important information to take forward throughout their lives."
"This online financial literacy course helps students take a positive step toward a financially successful future," says Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen. "We work to provide a wide variety of financial literacy programs for Iowa students. EVERFI has been a wonderful partner to the Iowa Insurance Division in developing the Iowa Financial Literacy Program and coordinating for all these students to be here at today's concert."
GOODING and Funding the Future
have crisscrossed the country the past six years, playing financial literacy concerts at more than 500 schools, colleges and auditoriums, estimating the band's reach to be nearly 150,000 students. Low-income and un-banked families are especially at risk for falling into recurring debt cycles, with long-term consequences. Funding the Future
works to attract sponsors so they may bring these concerts to students at no- or low-cost.
"We've arranged for the attendees at the Global Insurance Symposium in Des Moines to see video clips of this live student concert at the Civic Center," says Commissioner Ommen. "We hope our symposium guests also see the positive impact these concerts have on students and consider bringing these financial literacy concerts back to their states and countries. GOODING's relatable and sincere message connects with students. It's a vital message in this Venmo world that has turned kids' phones into virtual wallets. Spending money via Venmo just doesn't seem as real as handing over cash."
Several students made the brave walk up to the front of the large auditorium to take the microphone — not to sing, but to ask Gooding and his bandmates, Erin O Neil and Mike G, financial questions about payday lenders, checking accounts, credit scores and college loans.
Nyajuok Malual, a 13-year-old 7th grader from Hiatt Middle School in Des Moines was the first to walk up and ask a question. When asked about the concert, she says: "I enjoyed the music, guitar playing and Gooding and Erin's voices were awesome! I also liked how they talked about the money and how to save it and spend wisely."
Malual asked why they came to Iowa from Los Angeles. Gooding says, "Because the Iowa Insurance Division staff saw us play at another Funding the Future
Live concert in Iowa previously and invited us back. We love Iowa and hope to come back again and reach even more students."
About Iowa Insurance Division
The Iowa Insurance Division has general control, supervision and direction over all insurance and securities business transacted in the state and enforces Iowa's laws and regulations. The IID investigates consumer complaints and prosecutes companies, agents and brokers engaging in unfair trade practices. Consumers with insurance or investment questions, or complaints, may contact the IID toll-free at 877-955-1212, or visit https://www.iid.iowa.gov.
About Funding the Future
Funding for the Future
(FTF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings musical artists to different middle and high schools, student groups and kid-oriented organizations to provide a free live concert followed by a crucial and entertaining lesson in financial literacy. Since FTF launched in 2014 in Wyoming, it has provided nearly 150,000 students in 34 states and four Canadian provinces with essential financial literacy tools. FTF believes all youth can learn critical financial skills, define their future and obtain professional and personal success. Learn more at https://www.fundingthefuturelive.org. Or for press inquiries, contact:
Sharon Jennings, Funding the Future
EVERFI is the leading education technology innovator that provides learners of all ages innovative and scalable digital learning in critical life skills in areas such as Financial Education, Character Education, STEM Career Readiness, Digital
Citizenship, Entrepreneurship, Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and African American History. Working with 21,000 K-12 public schools in the U.S. and Canada, EVERFI's courses have empowered more than 12 million students with critical skills. EVERFI is also a convener of thought leadership consortiums through Networks that tackle the toughest social issues. These Networks include the Prescription Drug Safety Network, Campus Prevention Network, and the Financial Capability Network.EVERFI investors include Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Advance Publications, Rethink Education and Rethink Impact. EVERFI powers more than 3,500 partners in their education initiatives across all 50 states and Canada. To learn more about EVERFI visit everfi.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @EVERFIK12